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Digital Infrastructure

Place Strategy

Digital First are proven client side advisors to organisations across the UK, working with internal teams to generate strategic value to vital programmes. We have significant experience of delivery, strategy, and management of a range of digital transformation and infrastructure projects and programmes.  This enables place connectivity and to accelerate economic and social benefit across communities.

Digital First augment the team offering skilled commercial advisory work on strategy and pragmatic delivery, delivering strategic roadmaps to secure the required investment, funding and citizen outcomes. Adept at working with partners we deliver green book SBC, OBC and FBCs delivering action, partners and funding to support the strategic planning.

Our aim is to accelerate existing strategies, bringing the skills to develop those strategies should you require them, working with internal teams and stakeholders across your Place. Delivering roadmaps and the commercial support to ensure that investments and funding impact; bringing the infrastructure and partner network to help make your Place thrive.

Our experience covers areas such as Fibre and 5G vendor management, innovative market models creation, IoT deployment, DCMS technology vetting and fibre optic deployment. This enables informed procurement decisions and keep risk out of your complex cross technology projects

We support procurement and state/aid applications for a client that is looking to build a case for local investment into 5G or other technology assets such as full fibre. We can put together a set of use cases relevant to the stakeholders involved (e.g. LEP, corporate management boards, etc.) as well as develop a strategy or plan which represents stakeholders’ common interests

Infrastructure RoadMap

We help develop Digital Infrastructure Roadmaps with Local Councils, City Regions and LEPs. Our experience and insight is drawn from working with a wide range of public and private sector organisations on all aspects of digital infrastructure including:
• Developing Digital Infrastructure Strategies through collaboration and bringing insight
• Developing compelling business cases for local and national funding for local authorities
• Co-creating winning 5G and LFFN bids to DCMS with local authorities and city regions
• Leveraging out networks to broker commercial interest and response from the commercial market – MNOs, MEPs and innovative platform and service providers
• Helping specify and drive digital infrastructure procurement and evaluation processes
• Helping mobilise, design and provide early leadership to digital infrastructure programme, setting up governance, teams and programme plans

As a result of our work on digital infrastructure across the UK we have strong, independent relationships and networks with a wide range of organisations including:
• Fibre Infrastructure Operators – City Fibre, Openreach, Hyperoptic, Community Fibre
• Mobile Network Operators – Vodafone, 02. Virgin Media and regional and local players
• Mobile Equipment (4G/5G) Providers – Nokia, Ericsson, Huawei
• SMEs for IoT and open source platforms such as Weaver Labs and Bigconnect
• DCMS, BDUK – including a range of personal networks and previous working relationships
• Our link and work with digital organisations such as Digital and Future Cities Catapults and Universities exploring 5G testbeds, application of IoT and use of peer to peer technology platforms, including the leading 5G University, Kings College
• Influential advisors and players in the digital infrastructure sector

Commercial Cases

We help co-produce successful bids and business cases for local and national funding for full fibre and 5G offering the following support:
• Establishment of Digital Place strategies, infrastructure roadmaps and Investment cases
• Creation of Digital Infrastructure strategy including network infrastructure and design
• Development of DCMS and other funding bid submissions, underpinned with a successful track record
• Business Plan and investment Cases aligned to Green Book SBC’s and OBC’s
• Options analysis – commercial, technical, partnering, financing and operational
• Market engagement, stimulation, research, bringing our own network with us
• OJEU and framework client procurement, commercialisation and monetisation
Development of use cases; including data sharing, IoT application, advanced analytics, enabling assistive technology platforms in the Health sector
• Funding analysis and innovation market engagement, garnering the right levels of funding for your Place

5G & Full Fibre

Our track record of supporting local digital infrastructure on the Fibre, 4G and 5G journey goes back to 2012 at the start of the Superfast broadband programme, supporting councils and commercial partners directly, such as Northumberland Council, Digital UK and working alongside DCMS (BDUK).

We have built a strong range of strategy, design and delivery capabilities to build our capability and expertise over a number years. Recent clients include Southwark and Lambeth Councils, where we developed digital infrastructure roadmaps. We also helped the bid for the LFFN programme, with TfL, to access £10m Wave 2 funding.

Furthermore, we were successful in helping Plymouth City Council secure £3m funding for its LFFN full fibre programme in 2019. Consequently, we supported Plymouth in seeking 5G funding for an innovative maritime testbed.  Moreover, at Cardiff we have been supporting the Capital Ambition team, bringing technical support and expertise. Our work led to assessing new fibre and 5G schemes seeking loans and funding, alongside DCMS and local funding channels.

Through our work we have built a number of 5G and Fibre equipment and telephone partners and specialist IoT and network partners, potentially able to support the full deployment and development of new 5G testbeds and commercial networks.

Digital First has worked alongside the bi-boroughs of Westminster City and Kensington & Chelsea Councils (the Bi-Boroughs) to provide specialist advice in the design, development and benefits evaluation of a new Adult Social Care digital platform to improve service delivery and efficiency and deliver better outcomes for service users.

We collaborated with key operational, technical and policy staff across the two boroughs to assess the design and development of the emerging digital platform to identify, capture and quantify the range of opportunities and benefits that a fully integrated digital platform for adult social care services can deliver.

The implementation of the digital platform provides financial benefits which include large savings of up to £12.3m including 3rd party savings from contract savings, overhead savings, and income generation  for the bi-boroughs.

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